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Elements of statistics


This practical introduction to statistics is for those who want to understand and perhaps make use of basic statistical concepts. Although it includes the theoretical principles underlying the practice of statistics, the main emphasis in on a methodological approach. This course was replaced in 2003 by M248 Analysing data.

  • Preface and acknowledgements

  • Chapter 1 Data

  • Chapter 2 Models of Data I

  • Chapter 3 Models of Data II

  • Chapter 4 Models of Data III

  • Chapter 5 The normal distribution

  • Chapter 6 Point estimation

  • Chapter 7 Estimation with confidence

  • Chapter 8 Testing hypotheses

  • Chapter 9 Examining the assumptions

  • Chapter 10 Explanatory relations

  • Chapter 11 Related variables

  • Chapter 12 Random processes

  • Chapter 13 A Look Back

  • Chapter 14 A Look Forward

  • Solutions to the exercises

  • Appendix

  • Index of data sets

  • Index of examples

  • General index

Learning outcomes

  • This material is taken from a discontinued Open University course. It is intended for re-purposing and re-use by educators rather than for use directly by learners. Learning outcomes appropriate to the original course may be provided within the material, but it is intended that educators will construct new learning outcomes appropriate to the re-use they make of this material.

1 Overview

About this course

Suggested study hours 230

Format: pdf for 1 booklet

About the course

The course was last presented in February 2002. It was replaced in 2003 by M248 Analysing data.

Originally this course also included television programmes and CD-ROMS. These are not available here.

The book provides an introduction to statistics and probability for students across a wide range of disciplines. The emphasis on problem solving through analysis of data is enhanced by extensive use of real data sets throughout. The data have been drawn from a wide range of subject areas to highlight the diversity of statistics.

This was the core text for students of the Open University’s practical introductory course on statistics, M246 Elements of Statistics. Written to support self-study it provides an excellent foundation in statistics.

  • Includes real data, real problems, real solutions.

  • Covers practical statistics, without the complex mathematics.

  • Written from a student-centred perspective with self-assessment exercises and examples.

  • Computer exercises not tied to one particular statistical software package.

This book was authored by:

  • Fergus Daly

  • David J. Hand

  • Chris Jones

  • Daniel Lunn

  • Kevin McConway

2 Course materials

Elements of Statistics

Preface and acknowledgements (PDF, 12 pages, 1.8 MB)

Chapter 1 Data (PDF, 42 pages, 2.2MB)

Chapter 2 Models of Data I (PDF, 51 pages, 2.1MB)

Chapter 3 Models of Data II (PDF, 46 pages, 2.5MB)

Chapter 4 Models of Data III (PDF, 42 pages, 2.4MB)

Chapter 5 The normal distribution (PDF, 40 pages, 2.0MB)

Chapter 6 Point estimation (PDF, 41 pages, 1.5MB)

Chapter 7 Estimation with confidence (PDF, 37 pages, 1.3MB)

Chapter 8 Testing hypotheses (PDF, 43 pages, 2.1MB)

Chapter 9 Examining the assumptions (PDF, 32 pages, 1.2MB)

Chapter 10 Explanatory relations (PDF, 45 pages, 1.9MB)

Chapter 11 Related variables (PDF, 37 pages, 2.3MB)

Chapter 12 Random processes (PDF, 38 pages, 1.4MB)

Chapter 13 A look back (PDF, 29 pages, 1.2MB)

Chapter 14 A look forward (PDF, 31 pages, 1.3MB)

Solutions to the exercises (PDF, 105 pages, 2.9MB)

Appendix (PDF, 6 pages, 0.2MB)

Index of data sets (PDF, 1 pages, 0.1MB)

Index of examples (PDF, 2 pages, 0.1MB)

General index (PDF, 4 pages, 0.2MB)